A self-proclaimed qigong master who has hobnobbed with top politicians and celebrities was arrested on charges of kidnapping and murder, The Beijing News reported on Friday, citing police in his hometown of Pingxiang in southeastern China’s Jiangxi province.
Wang was tagged in the abduction and killing of Zou Yong, his former student in qigong, an ancient Chinese spiritual practice that combines meditation with physical exercises.
Wang was reportedly pinpointed by two other suspects who had been arrested in connection with the murder case.
The suspect and the victim reportedly had a dispute over financial matters.
Police said Zou’s abduction was reported on July 9, and investigation led to the arrest of the two suspects, Liu Feng and Zhu Litong, on July 14.
The two later admitted having participated in the kidnapping, and pointed to Wang as the mastermind. Zou’s body was also found. Further investigation showed that another Wang follower was involved in the case.
Police investigation showed that Zou donated 10 million yuan to Wang in 2005 to be admitted as a follower. However, the two later had a falling out over a financial issue.
In 2013, Wang gained fame after demonstrations of his supposed supernatural powers were posted on the internet.
However, Zou came out in public to claim that Wang’s qigong was a fraud.
Negative media reports about Wang also started to come out, including allegations that he was facing various charges including bigamy, tax dodging, illegal possession of firearms, unlicensed medical practice, gambling, bribery and fraud.
When local police and health authorities launched an investigation in 2013, Wang fled to Hong Kong.
Wang reportedly made friends with many Chinese celebrities and high-ranking officials in a bid to widen his influence.
They include former chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Li Ruihuan, former CPPCC chair Jia Qinglin, former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s sister Jiang Zeling, action star Jackie Chan, actress Vichy Zhao, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
Some media reports said Wang also had close ties with former railways minister Liu Zhijun, who was arrested in 2011 for taking bribes and given a suspended death sentence in 2013.
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